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PART A: INTRODUCTION1. Rationale In the globalization age today, English assumes as a more and more important part as a means of international communication than ever. Therefore, in some recent years, the focus of teaching has been promoting oral skills in order to respond to the students’ needs for effective communication.However, due to some objective and subjective reasons, teaching and learning English in general and teaching and learning speaking in particular does not come up to the study aims. Despite teachers’ efforts to provide students with opportunities to develop their communicative skills, how to teach and learn speaking effectively is still a challenging question to both teachers and students at many high schools in Vietnam.At Phan Boi Chau specializing high school, the situation is the same to the non- English majors who specialize in natural subjects such as: Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, and Biology or social subjects such as: Literature, History and Geography. For most students, they find speaking especially important yet most challenging one. It has been proved that some students got into a habit of leaning ‘mute English” which is obviously harmful to a language learner. It also seems to the writer that the techniques exploited during a speaking activity such as: role plays, simulations, discussions…are not really effective. Therefore, it is a necessity to find a supplementary technique used in teaching speaking.In language teaching, language games have proved themselves not merely as “time filler activities” but as an important factor which can create more chances and interest to motivate students to speak. Nevertheless, language games have not successfully applied to speaking classes at Phan Boi Chau specializing high school.All the above-mentioned reasons and factors have inspired the writer to conduct a research titled “Using language games to motivate the 10th form non- English majors in speaking lessons at Phan Boi Chau specializing high school”2. Aims of the studyThe study is aimed at:• Investigating the situation of teaching and learning speaking to the 10th form non- English majors at Phan Boi Chau high school1• Investigating the effectiveness of using games in teaching speaking to the 10th form non- English majors at Phan Boi Chau high school• Providing some suggestions and implications for the improvement of speaking teaching at Phan Boi Chau specializing high school by using language games in addition to other techniques3. Scope of the study: The study focuses specifically on using language games in teaching speaking to the 10th form non- English majors at Phan Boi Chau specializing high school. So the study limits itself to the teaching and learning speaking only, and the subjects of the study are 70 non- English majors from two classes studying new “Tieng Anh 10” textbook at Phan Boi Chau specializing high school.4. Significance of the study• Theoretical significance of the study: The study supplies the English language teachers with the understanding of speaking skill in and language games in terms of types, advantages when employing them. The study also suggests some ways to exploit language games successfully during all stages in teaching speaking.• Practical significance of the study: The research provides the language teachers and learners a variety of language games used in all stages in speaking classes based on new “Tieng Anh” 10 textbook.5. Methods of the studyIn the process of carrying out this study, the survey questionnaire is used to collect data for the study. The survey questionnaire including pre-task survey questionnaire and post task survey questionnaire is for 70 tenth form non- English majors from two classes of Phan Boi Chau specializing high school: one specializes in Mathematics and the other specializes in Chemistry.6. Design of the studyThis paper is divided into three main parts:Part A is the INTRODUCTION. In this part, the rational, the aims, research questions, the scope of the study, methods of the study and also its design are presented.Part B is the DEVELOPMENT which includes 4 chapters. Chapter I deals with some theoretical background that is relevant to the purpose of the study: speaking skill and 2language games. Chapter II can be seen as case study in real situation. It investigates the situation of teaching and learning speaking and the feasibility of using language games in teaching speaking to the 10th form non- English majors at Pham Boi Chau specializing high school through the analysis of collected data. Chapter III are some findings concluded from the data analysis. Chapter IV is by far the most dominant one in which some suggestions on using language games are made and some sample language games exploited during all stages of the lessons are provided. Part C is the CONCLUSION which includes the summary of the study, limitations of the study and suggestions for further study.REFERENCES and APPENDICES are presented in the last pages of the study.3PART B: DEVELOPMENTCHAPTER I: LITERATURE REVIEWI.1. Overview of speaking activitiesI.1.1. What is meant by speaking skill?Speaking is crucially important for the whole learning process. “Speaking makes you a more fluent language user, speaking is a chance to notice the gaps between what you want to say and what you can say, it is a chance to test hypotheses about language.” The terms ‘speaking” catches much attention of linguistics. Therefore, many definitions have been offered to this term so far.Based on Nguyen and Nguyen (2001), speaking is meant under two aspects: accuracy and fluency. “Accuracy involves the correct use of vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation.” Whereas fluency can be thought of as “the ability to keep going when speaking spontaneously”. When speaking fluently, language learners should be able to get message across whatever resources and abilities what they’ve got, regardless of grammatical and other mistakes. Meanwhile, many educators believe that in a communicative class “it is not necessary to teach conversational features or push students to communicate accurately” and that “fluency can be developed by simply providing students with lots of conversational practice”. Therefore, the requirements of language fluency and accuracy may differ variably due to each stage of language learning.Nguyen and Nguyen (2001) also introduces some favorably- used strategies in speaking. They are:• The use of natural-sounding “incomplete” sentences.• The use of common expressions like “Never mind” “You’re welcome”…• The use of “fillers” and hesitation devices: Well, let me think • The use of communication strategies such as asking for clarifications: “Pardon?” “I don’t understand. What do you mean?”…• The ability to paraphrase-“put it another way” or explain /describe what they want to say if they haven’t got the right language.Bygate (1987) suggested a more comprehensive discussion of the nature of speaking. It is shown that in order to be able to speak a foreign language, it is obviously necessary to have micro-linguistics skills, that is, to understand some grammar, vocabulary and the rules governing how words are put together to form sentences. Bygate (1987) also discusses further at great length the 4two sub-skills of interaction skills that the speakers use when they speak: the routine skills and negotiation skills. Routines are the conventional ways of presenting information such as descriptions, comparisons, story telling. They can be either expository, concerning presenting factual information, or evaluative where the speakers explain, reason, justify, predict and draw conclusions. They can also be interaction routines that can be found in interactions in different specific situations like interviews or discussions, etc…Different all these ideas may be, the main components of speaking are unchanged. It means that to improve speaking skill, both accuracy and fluency should be focused on.I.1.2. Characteristics of a successful speaking activityThere are many characteristics of a successful speaking activity which are introduced by Ur (1996) as follows:• Learners talk a lot: As much as possible of the period time allotted to the activity is in fact occupied by learner talk. This may seem obvious, but often most time is taken up with the teacher and talk and pauses.• Participation is even: Classroom discussion is not dominated by a minority of talkative participants: all get a chance to speak and contributions are fairly evenly distributed.• Motivation is high: Learners are eager to speak because they are interested in the topic and have something new to say about it, or because they want to contribute to achieving a task objective.• Language is of an acceptable level: Learners express themselves in utterances that are relevant, easily comprehensible to each other and of an acceptable level of language accuracy.In practice, however, few classroom activities succeed in satisfying all the criteria mentioned above. Therefore, language teachers should make great efforts to employ a variety of effective techniques to create some of the mentioned-above criteria.I.1.3. Problems with speaking activitiesAccording to Ur (1996), there still exist some problems with speaking activities as follows:• Inhibition: Unlike reading, writing and listening activities, speaking requires some degree of real-time exposure to an audience. Learners are often inhibited about trying to say things 5in a foreign language in the classroom: worried about making mistakes, fearful of criticism or losing face, or simply shy of the attention that their speech attracts.• Nothing to say: Even if they are not inhibited, you often hear learners complain that they cannot think of anything to say: they have no motive to express themselves beyond the guilty feeling that they should be speaking.• Low or uneven participation: Only one participant can talk at a time if he or she is to be heard, and in a large group this means that each one will have only very little time talking. This problem is compounded by the tendency of some learners to dominate, while others speak very little or not at all.• Mother-tongue use: In classes where all, or a number of, the learners share the same mother tongue, they may tend to use it: because it is easier, because it feels unnatural to speak to one another in a foreign language, and because they feel less “exposed” if they are speaking their mother tongue. If they are talking in small groups it can be quite difficult to get some classes-particularly the less disciplined or motivated ones- to keep to the target language.In order for the learners to develop their communicative skills, it is advised that the language teachers should help the learners to overcome these problems with speaking activitiesI.1.4. Principles in teaching speaking in CLTThe single most important reason for teaching speaking is to develop oral fluency, that is, the ability to express oneself intelligibly, reasonably, accurately and without undue hesitation. Learners of English will want to use speech principally for two reasons. The first reason is that they want to give and receive information, that is, for transactional or message-oriented purposes. The other is that they want to maintain good social relationships, that is, for interactional purposes focused on sharing personal experiences and opinions. Language educators and teachers have made great efforts to find out the main principles of teaching speaking so far. Here the author wishes to suggest some main principles which are introduced by Ur (1996) as follows:• Take account of the student as a person: It means that the teachers should be sensitive, sympathetic and encouraging. They should select material that is motivating and within the students’ ability.• Reduce anxiety by moving from easy to less easy: It means that the teachers should provide a familiar, private environment and help students take short turns. 6• Maintain a careful balance between accuracy and fluency: It requires that the teachers should provide practice in pronunciation, word stress, sentence stress and intonation. Moreover, the teachers should also provide students with opportunities for fluent use of speech. • Provide a good model for students to imitate: The teachers should consciously teach correct pronunciation and repeatedly use target speech patterns. • Provide appropriate stimuli for eliciting speech: The teachers can use a wide variety of sources such as: books, radios, audio and video cassettes, etc and well as pictures, stories, songs.• Vary classroom interaction modes: The teachers can arrange the class activities in different ways: individual to whole class, in pair work or group work. • Give clear instructions: The teachers should speak loudly, slowly and clearly and it is a good idea that the teachers demonstrate the proposed task themselves. • Monitor student activity continuously: The teachers should encourage those who find the activity difficult and praise students who perform well or try hard to fulfill the task. • Prepare well for class: The teachers should make a checklist of things to obtain and a checklist of things to do. • Handle errors sensitively and effectively: The teachers should ignore performances errors and ignores that are repeated. However, it is necessary that the teachers correct errors in language that they recently taught or errors that might shock the listeners (e.g. childrens). In addition, errors in structures that need to be used frequently by students should also be corrected. (E.g. “What means that?” instead of “What does it mean?”). And the teachers should remember that corrections should be made in accuracy phase, not fluency phase.I.2. Overview of language gamesI.2.1. What are language games?Language games can be used in language classes. So what are games and what are language games?First of all, what are games? Games are forms of entertainment derived from a set of artificial rules, typically with a known goal to be reached. Games can be in the form of physical activities, mental, or a mixture of the two. Also, games can be classified as cooperative, solitaire or 7competitive. Hadfield (1987) defines “a game is an activity with rules, a goal and an element of fun.” Similarly, according to Rixon (1981), “a game consists of play governed by rules.” This is summed up very well in Gibb’s definition (1978) of a game as “an activity carried out by cooperating or competing decision markers, seeking to achieve, within a set of rules, their objectives.” Different the definitions are, they share the same opinion that a game has three main characteristics. They are: a goal or objective, a set of rules which govern a game and games involve a contest either between players or between players and the goal.So, what are the language games? Language games mean games related to language. If games help to improve different aspects such as intellectual ability, patience, then language games help to develop language skills. When playing these language games, students not only have fun but can also practise English enjoyably, which helps to motivate students. Greenal (1984) defines as one kind of “activity which is used to consolidate language already taught or acquired and occurs during the free stage of lesson or during occasions such as English club meeting…” I.2.2. Types of language gamesClassifying language games into categories can be very difficult because categories often overlap. Therefore, different linguists use different ways to classify language games. According to Hadfiled (1987), “language games can be divided into two further categories: Linguistic games and communicative games. Linguistic games focus on accuracy, such as applying the correct antonym. On the other hand, communicative games focus on successful exchange of information and ideas, such as two people identifying the differences between their two pictures which are similar to one another but not exactly alike. Hadfield (1987) also classifies language games into many more categories as follows:• Sorting, ordering or arranging games. For example, students have a set of cards with different products of them, and they sort the cards into products found at a grocery store and products found at a department store.• Information gap game: In such games, one student has access to the information which is not held by the other student, and this student must acquire the information to complete the task successfully. Information gap games can involve a one-way information gap or a two way information gap. 8• Guessing games: In these games, someone knows something and the others must find out what it is• Matching games: As a name applies, participants need to find a match for a word, picture or card. • Labeling games: These are form of matching, in that participants match labels and pictures• Puzzle-solving games: The participants in the game share or pool information in order to solve a problem or a mystery.• Role play games: The terms role play, drama and simulation are sometimes used interchangeably but can be differentiated. Role play can involve students playing roles that they do not play in real life, such as dentists, while simulations can involve students performing roles that they already play in real life or might be likely to play, such as a customer at a restaurant. Dramas are normally scripted performances, whereas in role plays and simulations, students come up with their own words, although preparation is often useful.I.2.3. Opinions on using games in teaching and learning processEffective teaching in classroom environment requires different types of methods and techniques. Games are one of the activities that these techniques use. There has been quite a lot of research done on the use of educational games in particular. However, the effectiveness of using language games in English language teaching is still controversial among educators and teachers. There is a common perception that all learning should be serious and solemn in nature and that if one is having fun and there is hilarity and laughter, then it is not really learning. Ur (1996) reports that once we call a language leaning activity a “game” we convey the message that it is just fun, not something to be taken serious. Therefore many teachers are reluctant to use games in their lessons because they are doubtful about the effectiveness of games. That is, the teachers often perceive games as mere time-fillers, "a break from the monotony of drilling" or frivolous activities rather than an effective teaching technique. Contrary to the opinions mentioned above, many experienced textbook and methodology handbooks writers have argued that games are not just time-filling activities, but they have a great educational value. Lee (1979) holds that most language games make learners use the language instead of thinking about learning the correct forms. He also says that games should be treated as central, not peripheral to the foreign language teaching programme. A similar opinion is expressed 9by Richard-Amato, who believes game to be fun, but warns against overlooking their pedagogical value, particularly in foreign language teaching. Hadfield (1987) claimed the effectiveness of using language games in English language teaching: Games should be regarded as an integral part of the language syllabus, not as an amusing activity for Friday afternoon or for the end of the term”. According to Rixon (1981), games can be integrated with teaching so that they can become a positive part of it rather than a time-filler or, worse, a time-waster.There are many advantages of using games. "Games can lower anxiety, thus making the acquisition of input more likely" (Richard-Amato 1988:147). They are highly motivating and entertaining, and they can give shy students more opportunity to express their opinions and feelings. They also enable learners to acquire new experiences within a foreign language which are not always possible during a typical lesson. Furthermore, to quote Richard-Amato, they, "add diversion to the regular classroom activities," break the ice, "[but also] they are used to introduce new ideas" (1988:147). In the easy, relaxed atmosphere which is created by using games, students remember things faster and better. Further support comes from Zdybiewska, who believes games to be a good way of practicing language, for they provide a model of what learners will use the language for in real life in the future. With the demand of changing the teaching methods nowadays, most of the teachers have made efforts to exploit a variety of techniques, one of these is games. A good game can enhance students’ motivation in language classes and partly contributes to increase the quality of language classes. I.2.4. Language games as a motivator for students to speakThe importance of motivation is second language teaching and learning has been discussed for many years. Motivation is a key consideration in determining the preparedness of learners to communicate. Motivation refers to the combination of effort plus desire to achieve the goal of learning the language plus favorable attitudes toward learning the language. That is, motivation to learn a second language is seen as referring to the extent to which the individual works or strives to learn the language because of a desire to do so and the satisfaction experienced in this activity. Therefore, those who are motivated participate actively in class and usually get good study results.Since motivation is something very personal, it is not easy to develop. However, according to Lightbrown and Spada (1999): “If we can make our classrooms places where students enjoy coming because the atmosphere is supportive and non-threatening, we can make a positive 10 . studying new “Tieng Anh 10 textbook at Phan Boi Chau specializing high school.4. Significance of the study• Theoretical significance of the study: The. Phan Boi Chau high school• Providing some suggestions and implications for the improvement of speaking teaching at Phan Boi Chau specializing high school
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